After six long, agonizing months...IT'S TIME FOR BASEBALL AGAIN!!
Never have I wanted a baseball season to start so badly. After the way 2011 ended for the Braves, Opening Day 2012 couldn't arrive soon enough, but now it has, and they look ready to wipe the bitter taste of the end of last year from the collective mouth of Braves Country. The team will have some extra motivation to end 2012 on a high note with the declaration from Chipper Jones that this will be his final season, but he will start the season on the DL recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. It's a shame, too, since the Braves open the season against his favorite punching bag, the New York Mets.
So what's new in Queens? What's most obvious is that Jose Reyes took his talents to South Beach for $106 million over six years, so if the Mets want to avoid a fourth straight losing season, they'll have to do it without him. The Mets traded Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez and signed free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Both have served as closers in the past, Rauch with 58 career saves and Francisco with 49. Meanwhile, R.A. Dickey is back from Africa, Citi Field got smaller and we'll actually see Johan Santana pitch for the first time in ages. Ike Davis appears to have recovered from his ankle injury suffered last year and Daniel Murphy is back from getting spiked in the leg in a game against the Braves. Outside of a few new faces, there isn't much for Mets fans to get excited about this year.
Pitching matchups and more after the jump.
Thursday, April 5, 1:10 p.m. ET
#48 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Aug 28, 1986
2011: 11-7, 3.60 ERA, 46 BB, 142 K, 1.17 WHIP
#57 / Pitcher / New York Mets
Mar 13, 1979
2011: did not pitch
Saturday, April 7, 1:10 p.m. ET
#49 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jan 29, 1986
2011: 13-6, 2.96 ERA, 44 BB, 90 K, 1.22 WHIP
#43 / Pitcher / New York Mets
Oct 29, 1974
2011: 8-13, 3.28 ERA, 54 BB, 134 K, 1.23 WHIP
Sunday, April 8, 1:10 p.m. ET
#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Dec 26, 1987
2011: 5-3, 4.14 ERA, 30 BB, 77 K, 1.49 WHIP
#49 / Pitcher / New York Mets
Oct 27, 1986
2011: 11-11, 4.40 ERA, 44 BB, 138 K, 1.41 WHIP
Mets Opening Day roster: